Ontario Elementary Social Studies Teachers Association

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It is dedicated to provide a voice for teachers in envisioning a continuum from grades 1 to 12 in geography, history and the social sciences.


Unlike other subjects such as Math, Science, the Arts etc., Social Studies has had no elementary teacher organization to represent it as the Ministry and the Ontario College of Teachers design courses. Although the Ontario Junior Educators Association has often been consulted on age-appropriate curriculum for children, the organization is not dedicated to bringing specific research on Social Studies education to the table. During the last two decades, there has been a groundswell of research showing that children are capable of understanding very complex social science problems and issues.  At the same time, research also shows common misconceptions that thwart understanding.  It is by teaching specific skills and concepts that are based on disciplines such as geography and history that such misconceptions can be addressed.  Furthermore, given our complex, multicultural, multinational, environment, and gender and class sensitive society, Social Studies need to address timely topics. It is in this context that our organization was formed. 


The "ONTARIO ELEMENTARY SOCIAL STUDIES TEACHERS ASSOCIATION” hereinafter called OESSTA is dedicated to the education of all elementary students of Social Studies and to the professional development of all elementary Social Studies teachers.


  • To support Social Studies Education at the Elementary Level in French and English.
  • To ensure members are well informed and consulted about current issues and initiatives in Social Studies Education.
  • To review and provide members with opportunities to examine relevant research and teaching materials.
  • To act as an advocacy body to promote higher order thinking in students and to promote curriculum that is in keeping with the values of our members.
  • To support the development of resources and research by/for our members.
  • To provide a forum for discussion, debate and response to issues, initiatives and research in Social Studies Education.
  • To provide professional development for Social Studies Education.
  • To maintain links with other professional and community groups with a special
  • interest in Social Studies Education, such as Ontario Association of Geographical and Environmental Educators, Ontario History and Social Sciences Teachers Association, Ontario Black History Society, resource publishers etc.
  • To maintain strong links with education institutions including all branches of the Ministry of Education and other institutions involved in the education of elementary students, including the Teachers' Federations and the Faculties of Education.


  • Membership is granted to all educators interested in and/or responsible for Social Studies Education in Ontario and have proven to the Executive that they have engaged in in-services and or reading research about the discipline of Social Studies Education.
  • The Executive shall be experienced elementary teachers and will review the membership requirements annually.

Executive Structure

Stan Hallman-Chong
Social Studies, Elementary History/Geography Instructional Leader
Toronto District School Board
1 Civic Centre Court,
Toronto , Ontario M9C 2B3
(416) 394-7266 (business)
(416) 394-6420 (FAX)
Vice President
Margaret Geare
Peel District School Board
Byron Stevenson,
Toronto District School Board

Ad Hoc executive members as necessary, including responsibilities for communication, French issues, support material review, development, and distribution, conference/program chairing, etc.

Please visit this page in February to find a survey so you can voice your views on the future of curriculum renewal for Social Studies.  The Ministry plans to begin this process in the fall of 2009 and it is important that you share your experience and wisdom.